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SWFL family loses loved one to drugs

Posted: 11:05 PM, Oct 20, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-20 23:14:44-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla., - A Southwest Florida family is heartbroken after losing their loved one to a drug overdose last month.

Rider Morris, 21, a Riverdale High School graduate died on September 7th.

“He was always gone fishing,” said Reith Morris, Rider’s brother

Rider’s friends called him Rider ‘Gon Fishing’ Morris. His brother says there’s nothing he couldn't catch.

“If he sees a fish, it’s caught. He caught every type of fish there is.”

From an early age, Rider was hooked on fishing. “There’s pictures of him barely walking with a fishing pole in his hand.”

Rider was the oldest of three siblings. When he wasn't fishing, he was making someone’s day. “He had a heart of gold, there wasn't a person Rider wasn't friends with.”

Reith said he and his brother started using drugs in high school when one thing led to another.

“You’re just smoking and drinking on the weekends and that turns into an every day habit. Once smoking and drinking isn’t enough, people want to venture on into other drugs and see what other highs they can get.”

Chasing that high quickly became a lifestyle.

“I can’t tell you how many vacations we ruined, how many holidays we ruined cause of drugs, hurting our parents, hurting our family, hurting everyone around us.”

Despite efforts by family to help, drugs took Rider’s life. But this wasn't the first time Reith lost someone to drugs.

“I can’t even tell you how many friends I’ve lost cause of drugs.”

“There’s an abundance of help everywhere. Just ask,” said Pastor Jessie Myers with Teen Challenge Southwest Florida. He invites anyone battling with a drug addiction to reach out .

Reith says this horrific experience changed his life.

“I don’t ever want to do a drug again.”

"Tell your mom so she can help you, tell your dad, your brother, your sister. Tell your aunt, or uncle so that can give you a hand and help you out."